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Tex Saverio (centre) with his models. (Photo: http://businesslounge.co.id)

Indonesian Fashion Designers on the World Stage

OurIndonesia – Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lawrence; who does not recognize those global celebrities? But do you know that each of them had decorated high end fashion spreads wearing pieces by Indonesian designer Tex Saverio?

Gaga posed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine ini his couture and Kim was featured on the cover of ELLE in Saverio’s hand-embroidered gown. Miss Lawrence herself wore the designer’s epic fantasy gown in Hunger Games, the Swarovski-crystal-covered “organza corset under a metal cage” with a voluminous organza and chiffon skirt, which got everyone thought was by McQueen.

Fashion and world celebrities are always intertwined. In the world of fashion and global celebrities, Indonesia has many personas few may know. Beside Tex Saverio, among the new breeds is Peggy Hartanto, Indonesian designer from Surabaya, East Java, whose label is the likes of famous faces.

Peggy’s first debut was in Sidney, where she started working with Collette Dinnigan, an Australian fashion label right after finishing Raffles College of Design and Commerce Sydney. In 2012, she went back to Indonesia and established her own label ‘Peggy Hartanto’.

Many Hollywood celebrities had worn her label on and off red carpet ever since. Supermodel of the year Gigi Hadid was seen wearing Peggy’s edgy jumpsuit to Sports Illustrated event. Giuliana Rancic, the host of Fashion Police, was spotted wearing Peggy’s design many times.

Other Indonesian designer on the rise in world’s fashion are Toton Januar and Restu Anggraini. The two designers performed their label in Tokyo Fashion Week Catwalk.

Toton Januar’s label ‘Toton’ was launched in 2012 in Singapore. In an interview with the Jakarta Post, the designer describes his label as “an exploration of an idea with Indonesia in mind, soul and heart,” and that looking at his collection is like having a trip around Indonesia.

Interestingly, Restu Anggraini’s label is Muslim wear (modest fashion). Yet, she manages to create a very modern look. She is well-known for her contemporary, modern, and elegant modest wear designs.

Another names are Yosafat Dwi Kurniawan, which complex design construction and a sense of relaxed wearability has been praised in Vogue Italia and Elle; Heaven Tanuredja, which accessories collection is widely known in Europe, and; Jeffry Tan, famously designed the black jumpsuit worn by Kylie Minogue in her latest video clip ‘Right Here Right Now’.

In addition to the aforementioned young designers, big names like Biyan and Sebastian Gunawan opened the path for Global attention. Biyan collection has penetrated many world-class department stores. TV star Kelly Rutherford was wearing one in Gossip Girls series (Gossip Girls TV series is like a display from many world class designers, since the fictional story revolves around the super rich and uber glamorous lives of the upper class Manhattans).

Sebastian Gunawan was also a favorite of Hollywood superstars like Alyssa Milano. The most attention-stealer is his red and black dress worn by Maudy Koesnaedi in Cannes Film Festival 2013. The dress was inspired by traditional fabric with modern detail that looks glamorous (the dress was praised by Vogue Australia).

Seeing so many successful stories of Indonesian designers in Global fashion world, we should be proud and optimistic about Indonesia’s creative industry. It certainly is not an easy task to penetrate the global market. The challenges for Indonesian fashion designers are how to successfully sell and market their work to the customer from various parts of the world; maintaining design quality by continuing to actualize the design with the trend of ever-changing market trends and authentic design; collaboration with other creative workers such as artists, musician etc; actively networking with publishers, stylists, fashion bloggers and photographers are also important elements to penetrate the global market.

Indonesia is very rich in inspirations that can be raised and introduced to the world. A problem that often occurs beside the lack of guidance is improving the quality of design. Designers are required not only to know how to stitch, but also to understand design from a business standpoint. They have to know how to translate global trend without losing the identity of their design and how to strengthen their brands by acting as a designer and a businessman at the same time.

Nowadays, some Indonesian designers became TV stars and entertainers to endorse their works as a way to keep their brand’s existence in the market. International fashion industries are more strict. Designers are required to produce interesting work and understand the consumers who will buy their works. Furthermore, competition with world’s giant fashion retailers such as Zara, Uniqlo and H&M continues to haunt individual designers.

Eventhough printed fashion media such as fashion magazines and newspapers remain the biggest endorser for designers, social media can play important role to promote Indonesian fashion industry to the world. Besides, the emergence of TV channels specialize in broadcasting local fashion scenes can also rapidly accommodating the advance promotion of Indonesia’s fashion industry.

We are expecting to see more faces of Indonesian designer who can penetrate the world’s main fashion mecca: New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Week(s).